Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys share your experiences and help create change

Neurological examination

If your doctor (GP or A&E doctor) suspects you have a brain tumour, they will refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist. These are specialists in brain and nerve disorders. If they suspect a child has a brain tumour, they will refer them to a paediatrician.

The specialist will:

  • Ask questions about your health
  • Give you a physical examination
  • Test your nervous system (called a neurological examination) – this involves looking at your vision, hearing, alertness, muscle strength, co-ordination and reflexes.

They may also look at the back of your eyes to see if there is any swelling of the optic disc. Any swelling is a sign of raised pressure inside the skull, which could be a sign of a brain tumour.

  • You should take someone with you to your appointments, so that they can help you take notes, or remember things that you might not. It is also good to have someone there who can help support you emotionally as well
  • Find out and note down the contact details of your medical team and make sure you know who to contact if you have any concerns
  • It can help to digitally record your consolation with the medical team, so that you can remember what was discussed, or check what you might have missed.

Hearing tests to diagnose acoustic neuromas

Acoustic neuromas can be difficult to diagnose as their symptoms, including hearing loss, can be similar to other conditions. Find out more about about acoustic neuromas and how they are diagnosed.

Get your free Information Pack

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a brain tumour and you don’t know which way to turn, start with our free Information Pack.

If you have further questions, need to clarify any of the information on this page, or want to find out more about research and clinical trials, please contact our team:
Support and Information Services
0808 800 0004 Free from landlines and mobiles
Phone lines open Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00
A member of our Support & Information Team provides support over the phone to somebody affected by a brain tumour diagnosis

Get support

If you need someone to talk to or advice on where to get help, our Support and Information team is available by phone, email or live-chat.